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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Lift every voice and sing oral history project

Repository: State Historical Society of Missouri, St. Louis

Collection Description (CRHP): Many of those interviewed for this project are connected to Elleardsville [the Ville], a black neighborhood of St. Louis known for its business leaders and educators. Interviewees include members of CORE, who sponsored pickets, boycotts, sit-ins in St. Louis, as well as other citizens who engaged in efforts to ameliorate employment discrimination.

Collection Description (Extant): Doris A. Wesley, manuscript specialist at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri-St. Louis began the "Lift Every Voice and Sing" Project in 1990 for the Western Historical Manuscript Collection-St. Louis. Wesley decided to take on a special project and she ventured out into the St. Louis' African American community. She interviewed 100 local area African Americans. She returned with a photographer to create black and white portraits of the interview participants.

Wesley interviewed people from many different backgrounds including doctors, educators, nurses, lawyers, authors, federal judges, politicians, mayors, journalist, ministers, entrepreneurs, musicians, civil rights leaders and inventors.

Many of these people broke through the glass ceiling of racial discrimination, opening doors for future generations. The pioneers featured in "Lift Every Voice and Sing" had an opportunity to lift their voices and share their stories about St. Louis's history during segregation, integration, and the civil rights movement.

Access Copy Note: A transcript for the interview with Judge Theodore McMillian is available online at

Date(s): 1990-1998

Digital Status: Partial

Existing IDs: sl 609

Extent: 100 folders, audiotapes, transcripts, photographs, exhibit of text and photographs

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Related Archival Items: Some of the photos in this collection may be viewed at See also sl 760 LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING RESEARCH FILE, 1999.

The US Courts Library 8th Circuit in St. Louis also holds a transcript of the McMillian interview.

Interviewees: Bennie G. Rodgers, Lorraine O. Gasaway, Robert Carter, Olivia Calloway, Weldon Young, Oscar C. Farmer, Famelia Kennedy, Madeline S. Turner, Clyde S. Cahill, John F. Bass, J.B. "Jet" Banks, Joyce M. Thomas, Theoplis "Ted" Hudson Sr., Alfred Ford, Antoinette C. "Toni" Robinson, Clifton W. Gates, Bettie Mae Taylor, Virgil Akins, Thelma Jackson Bates, Paul L. Miller Jr., Ivan C. James Jr., Vivian E. Dreer, Joseph M. Robinson, Eddie Randle Sr., Frank Harrold, Clarice D. Davis, Earl E. Nance Sr., Lloyd A. Smith, Zella Jackson Price, Melba A. Sweets, Theodore McMillian, Carl N. Thomas, Elizabeth W. Garlington, Everett Agnew, John E. Ware, James M. Whittico, Lawrence Nicholson, George H. Carper, Ora Lee Malone, John H. Gladney, Frank O. Richards, Marion J. Brooks, Sylvester LeClaire Smith, Ida O. Scott, Clifford H. Frazier, Doris A. Frazier, Colleen McCaine Johnson, Henrietta Ambrose, Walter S. Lathen, Benny W. Gordon Jr., Hutcher L. Dixon, Kennard O. Whitfield, Mae F. Wheeler, Julius K. Hunter, Margaret Bush Wilson, Ira M. Young, Anita L. Bond, Leslie F. Bond, Dorothy Thomas Matlock, Joseph Palmer, Jane Woods Miller, William A. Pearson, Lou "Fatha" Thimes, Billye Haley Crumpton, William G. Gillespie, Samuel W. Hylton Jr., Frankie Muse Freeman, Daniel T. Tillman, Bernie Hayes, John A. Wright, Betty Jean Kerr, Lynn Beckwith Jr., Henry Givens Jr., Norman R. Seay, William L. Clay, Martin L. Matthews, Oliver Sain, Pearlie I. Evans, Stanley Newsome, Clarence Harmon, Jean King Chavis, Betty L. Thompson, Leonard Robinson, Charles Mischeaux, Percy Green III, Wayman F. Smith III, James H. Buford, Prince A. Wells III, Hazel E. Hunter, Jean Patterson Neal, Sherman George, Michael V. Roberts, Steven C. Roberts, Odell E. McGowan, Doris Moore Glenn, Donald M. Suggs, Patricia McKissack, Fredrick McKissack, Freeman Bosley Jr., George Sams, Kathryn E. Nelson

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American judges
African American neighborhoods
African American veterans
African Americans--Missouri
Civil rights movements--Missouri
Discrimination in employment
Discrimination in the military
Race discrimination--Missouri
United States. National Youth Administration


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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